A Washington state lawmaker has been sued by two constituents who argue their First Amendment rights are being violated because they've been banned from commenting on the state lawmaker's Facebook page.
The suit against Rep. Jim Walsh, filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Wednesday, says the Aberdeen Republican unlawfully censored Jeff Nichols and Gilbert Myers when he banned them from his 'politician' page on the social media site.
Access - Forum - Comments - Viewpoint - Speaker
"By banning access to this forum and deleting comments based on the viewpoint of the speaker, Representative Walsh has violated plaintiffs' right to free expression, to petition the government for a redress of wrongs and grievances, and to hear the banned speech that would have otherwise been engaged in, distorting the expressive forum," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction requiring Walsh to restore the posting privileges of Nichols and Myers, as well as anyone else banned for their viewpoints, and seeks "nominal damages and compensatory damages" as well as attorney fees.
Walsh - Lawsuit - Men - Posts
Walsh, who says the lawsuit is politically motivated, says that he only banned the men after warning them about posts he says involved swearing or were otherwise uncivil.
"My posts are full of people who are critical of me, and as long as they keep it civil, that's fine," he said. "These two gentlemen did not keep it civil, and they know it."
Attorney - Men - Posts - Walsh - Friday
An attorney for the men disputes that any uncivil posts were made. Walsh said Friday that he has screenshots of the since-deleted posts but declined to share them.
Attorney Billie Morelli said that Myers never posted comments, just reacted to other posts, and that Nichols believes he was banned after posting a link to a labor report card on Walsh's votes in the Legislature.
United - States - Government
"In the United States, the government is not allowed to...
Wake Up To Breaking News!